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Strawberry turnovers with puff pastry are as quick to make as they are to disappear. They’re an equally great brunch buffet item, after-school snack, or dessert. Here’s how to make it happen.

strawberry turnovers on a plate and sheet pan
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Why we love this recipe

Is there anything better than a hand pie? If you’re feeling generous, they’re the perfect right-sized treat to share with family and friends. And if you’re feeling slightly selfish, just flip the script and think of them as enforcing their own built-in boundaries. Our strawberry turnovers, made with puff pastry, are:

  • A neat four bites (or sure, make them bigger if you like)
  • Just the right amount sweet
  • Flaky and buttery
  • Made from ingredients that are easy to keep on hand
  • Prep-ahead and freezer-friendly

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Dufour is my favorite brand of puff pastry by far, but it’s more expensive and sometimes less available than supermarket brands. You can use whatever brand you like. Dufour comes in a 14-ounce package that’s a single sheet. If you’re working with a 17-ounce package that contains two sheets, you can use the same amount of filling and egg wash.
  • You can make this recipe with fresh or frozen strawberries. See the FAQs below to learn about how to use frozen fruit in pies (hand- or otherwise).
  • A little bit of ground cardamom adds a hint of sophistication.
  • Cornstarch adds just the right amount of viscosity to the filling.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll to do make a beautiful batch of strawberry turnovers. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Remove puff pastry from the freezer and use it when it’s defrosted but still cold (usually after about 45 minutes on the counter). While it defrosts, make the filling:
    • Place the strawberries, sugar, cardamom, and salt into a small pot and set over medium-high heat.
    • Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until berries break down as much as you’d like (you can help them along with a fork or a potato masher) and juices reduce to a few tablespoons. See the FAQs below for advice on prepping frozen fruit.
    • While the fruit cooks, stir together the water, lemon juice, and cornstarch until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the fruit and cook for two minutes, until thickened. Let the mixture cool before proceeding.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry into a 14-inch square (see FAQs below) and cut into 16 squares. Make an egg wash by whisking together the egg and milk with a fork.
  3. Fill each square with a little bit of strawberry mixture, paint the edges with egg wash, and fold into a triangle.
  4. Press the edges together to seal, then crimp with a fork. Bake in the center of a 400°F oven for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. See the FAQs for another baking option.

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I use frozen strawberries?

You absolutely can — I often do. What you need to know is that frozen fruit releases a ton of juice. Here’s how to handle it.

Option 1: If you want the filling to contain some intact pieces of strawberry, defrost the fruit before starting the recipe. Chop the defrosted strawberries, but don’t add them to the pot right away. Pour the juices into the pot, add the sugar, cardamom, and salt, and simmer to reduce to no more than about two to three tablespoons. Then add the strawberry pieces and cook for just a minute or two to soften before stirring in the cornstarch mixture.

Option 2: If you’re happy with a smoother filling, you don’t have to defrost the strawberries before starting. Place the berries, sugar, cardamom, and salt into the pot and begin cooking over medium-low heat to give the berries a chance to release some juices before turning up the heat. As the berries soften, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to encourage them to break down as much as you’d like. When the juices have reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, stir in the cornstarch mixture.

What’s the best way to defrost puff pastry?

You’ll want to use the puff pastry when it’s defrosted but still quite cold. This tends to take about 45 minutes at cool room temperature, or you can leave it in the fridge overnight to defrost.

The flaky layers are created by the thin, intact pockets of butter in the dough, which release steam in a hot oven. In order for this to work properly, they need to be kept cold, so they don’t melt away into the dough.

Why do I have to let the filling cool if I’m just going to bake it anyway?

Placing hot filling onto the puff pastry risks melting the butter in the pastry before it hits the oven, which is the number one no-no of puff pastry. Keep it cold so it will puff properly.

If you’re in a rush, you can cool the filling in an ice bath. Fill a very large bowl with lots of ice and some water, then plunge the pot right into it (making sure no water gets into the pot) and stir frequently until the mixture cools down. It will only take a few minutes.

How may squares should I cut from the pastry?

I almost always use Dufour puff pastry because it’s so good. That brand comes in a 14-ounce package that’s a single sheet. Before rolling, it’s usually about 10 inches by 14 inches. I roll it out into a 14-inch square and cut it into 16 squares.

If you’re working with a 17-ounce package that contains two sheets, they are usually already squares. You can roll each out by an inch or so in each direction, then cut into 8 squares each.

This method yields diminutive turnovers that are only a few bites each. You can make them larger if you like without changing the ingredient quantities. The baking time will be similar — you may find that you want to add a few minutes, depending on your oven.

How do I make the turnovers flatter?

When you let the puff pastry rise as much as it wants, these turnovers get as tall as they are wide. If you’d rather have flatter turnovers, you can bake them with another parchment-lined sheet pan directly on top of the pastry. (Place the parchment onto the pastries and then place the bottom of a second sheet pan right overtop. Bake as directed.

Can I make strawberry turnovers in advance?

We prefer these treats egg-washed and baked shortly before serving, but you can 100% prep them in advance and freeze them. Prep all the way through from beginning to end, including cutting the vents — but hold off on brushing the outsides with egg wash. Freeze on parchment-lined sheet pans until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and keep frozen for up to six months.

When ready to bake, brush with egg wash and bake straight from frozen. You’ll probably need to add a few minutes to the baking time.

How should I store leftovers?

Once completely cool, store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. You can re-crisp them in the toaster oven before serving if you like.

More favorite sweet puff pastry treats

More favorite strawberry treats

six strawberry turnovers on a sheet pan

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strawberry turnovers on a plate and sheet pan
5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Turnovers

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Strawberry turnovers with puff pastry are as quick to make as they are to disappear. They're an equally great brunch buffet item, after-school snack, or dessert. Here's how to make it happen.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 16
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Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups (210 grams) strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
  • teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) cornstarch
  • 14 ounces (397 grams) puff pastry (see note 2)
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) with a rack in the center. Line one or two half-sheet pans with parchment, depending on whether you want to bake in batches or one pan at a time.
  • Place the strawberries, sugar, cardamom, and salt into a small pot and set over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes. The berries will start to soften and break down — you can help them along with the back of a fork or a potato masher if you prefer a smoother filling. Continue cooking until the juices reduce to about 3 tablespoons.
  • While the fruit cooks, stir together the water, lemon juice, and cornstarch until perfectly smooth.
  • Stir the cornstarch mixture into the fruit and cook for two minutes, until thickened. Let the mixture cool before proceeding.
  • Dust a work surface with flour and unfold puff pastry. Dust pastry with flour too. Roll out the puff pastry into a 14-inch square (see note 2) and cut into 16 smaller squares. Place 8 squares onto each parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a little bit of space in between. (If baking on one pan in two batches, chill the remaining puff pastry until ready to use.)
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk with a fork to make an egg wash.
  • Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cooled strawberry mixture into the center of each pastry square.
  • Using a pastry brush or your finger, paint the edges of each square with egg wash. Fold each square diagonally into a triangle.
  • Press the edges together with your fingers to seal, then crimp with a fork.
  • Paint the pastry with egg wash. Then, using the tip of a paring knife, cut two or three small slits in the top of each triangle to allow the pastries to vent as they bake.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Transfer to a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. The flaky layers in puff pastry are created by the thin, intact pockets of butter in the dough, which release steam in a hot oven. In order for this to work properly, they need to be kept cold, so they don’t melt away into the dough. Defrost puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for about 45 minutes total. If defrosting on the counter, you can place it into the fridge once defrosted if you need extra time to prep the filling.
  2. Dufour is my favorite brand of puff pastry by far, but it’s more expensive and sometimes less available than supermarket brands. You can use whatever brand you like. Dufour comes in a 14-ounce package that’s a single sheet. Before rolling, it’s usually about 10 inches by 14 inches. I roll it out into a 14-inch square and cut it into 16 squares. If you’re working with a 17-ounce package that contains two sheets, they are usually already squares. You can roll each out by an inch or so in each direction, then cut into 8 squares each. You can use the same amount of filling and egg wash.
  3. Here’s how to handle frozen fruit in this recipe. Option 1: If you want the filling to contain some intact pieces of strawberry, defrost the fruit before starting the recipe. Chop the defrosted strawberries, but don’t add them to the pot right away. Pour the juices into the pot, add the sugar, cardamom, and salt, and simmer to reduce to no more than about two to three tablespoons. Then add the strawberry pieces and cook for just a minute or two to soften before stirring in the cornstarch mixture. Option 2: If you’re happy with a smoother filling, you don’t have to defrost the strawberries before starting. Place the berries, sugar, cardamom, and salt into the pot and begin cooking over medium-low heat to give the berries a chance to release some juices before turning up the heat. As the berries soften, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to encourage them to break down as much as you’d like. When the juices have reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons, stir in the cornstarch mixture.
  4. Placing hot filling onto the puff pastry risks melting the butter in the pastry before it hits the oven, which is the number one no-no of puff pastry. Keep it cold so it will puff properly.If you’re in a rush, you can cool the filling in an ice bath. Fill a very large bowl with lots of ice and some water, then plunge the pot right into it (making sure no water gets into the pot) and stir frequently until the mixture cools down. It will only take a few minutes.
  5. This method yields diminutive turnovers that are only a few bites each. You can make them larger if you like without changing the ingredient quantities. The baking time will be similar — you may find that you want to add a few minutes, depending on your oven.
  6. When you let the puff pastry rise as much as it wants, these turnovers get as tall as they are wide. If you’d rather have flatter turnovers, you can bake them with another parchment-lined sheet pan directly on top of the pastry. (Place the parchment onto the pastries and then place the bottom of a second sheet pan right overtop. Bake as directed.
  7. We prefer these treats egg-washed and baked shortly before serving, but you can 100% prep them in advance and freeze them. Prep all the way through from beginning to end, including cutting the vents — but hold off on brushing the outsides with egg wash. Freeze on parchment-lined sheet pans until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and keep frozen for up to six months.When ready to bake, brush with egg wash and bake straight from frozen. You’ll probably need to add a few minutes to the baking time.
  8. Once completely cool, store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. You can re-crisp them in the toaster oven before serving if you like.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 184kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 84mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Fruit Desserts
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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2 Comments

    1. HI, Jennifer, sorry about the delayed reply. I’ve been taking some time off for a change. 🙂 Did you try the phyllo? It’s very different from puff pastry, but I could see a nice version of this recipe with the filling wrapped in little phyllo bundles. Not sure how long the bake time would be. Please report back if you made it!